Missoulians can pay off their parking tickets by helping feed people in need all month thanks to a food drive by the Parking Commission.
Each nonperishable food item donated to the Missoula Food Bank through the Parking Commission will pay $2 off a parking ticket, up to $10.
Jodi Pilgrim, the administrative services manager at the parking commission, said the program, now in its fourth year, helps everyone involved.
"We don’t like to have outstanding citations on the books, so it's good for us, and it's good for people to clear up those citations without having to come up with the money," Pilgrim said. "And it allows us to write off some uncollectable bad debt too."
Last year, Pilgrim said the food drive saw the number of donations nearly double to 400 food items donated, but she said she's hoping they could reach 500 this year.
There are some exceptions, including the maximum five item donation put toward fines, and contributions won't be counted toward boot fees.
The donation program runs throughout November, and donations can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except city holidays on Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day.
The parking commission is accepting all nonperishable foods, but noted the most needed items include:
• Canned tuna or meat
• Peanut butter
• Canned fruits (in juice)
• Canned vegetables (low/no sodium)
• Low-fat salad dressings
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• Canned chili
• Cooking oil
• Tomato sauce
• Canned beans
• Shelf-stable milk
• Canned soups (low sodium)
• Baby formula
• Baby food
• Whole-grain items
• Gluten-free items
• Low sodium/low sugar items